NBN sets world record for long-range 5G transmission

By Matthew Elmas

Wednesday January 13, 2021


The National Broadband Network (NBN) has set a world record for long-range 5G transmission in a recent proof of concept test near Mortlake, Victoria.

The NBN and technology partners Ericsson, Qualcomm and Casa Systems achieved a stable 5G mmWave transmission at a distance of 7.3 kilometers, double the distance they recorded just three months ago at the same site.

The tests are part of an effort to improve NBN’s fixed wireless network and the government owned corporation expects to demonstrate even longer range capability in the future.

“We face some unique challenges, not least vast distances and harsh environments, that have always required a strong focus on innovation,” NBN chief development officer, regional and remote, Gavin Williams, said of the tests.

“This long-range achievement is a very promising sign as we continue to develop our options to further improve performance and customer experience and plan to meet emerging demand on the network.”

NBN’s current fixed wireless network covers more than 620,000 premises across regional and rural Australia, but the long range capability is not necessary for most, because 90% of customers live within 7.3 kilometres of a fixed wireless cell.

The corporation currently invests around $200 million a year in optimising the performance of the network.

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